Alfredo y su familia

"El otro lado..."

photo by madison perrins

This is Alfredo and his family. They live year-round in a shanty on a beach south of Ensenada. The road leading to their spot was being improved by hand with shovels and piles of rich red dirt. The women working outside the shanty met our timid greetings with large, open smiles.

Alfredo guided us to the beach and showed us the differences between the stones he and his family were collecting to sell for landscaping. There are rules about the size and color of the rocks to be collected on certain days. The ones he sifted over in his hands were 2-3 (medium) negro (black). The families in the surrounding shanties are friends but don’t work together. They all sell rocks to the same man who then sells them and ships them to “el otro lado,” the other side, as Alfredo refers to the United States repeatedly.

He told us there are many rattlesnakes around and showed us the way people try to suck out venom when they're bit. "I'm afraid for the kids," he told us as we sat sipping the instant coffee he graciously offered us.

He immigrated to the U.S. sometime in the past but was deported. When Aidan photographed his daughter he told her, "Now a little piece of you is going back to the United States."

photo by madison perrins